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THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY             257

it became necessary to remove the schools from Paris to the
comparative security of the country. Here they enjoyed a short
spell of prosperity, till trouble again arose through the publication
of the Provincial Letters, in which Pascal (by this time a member
of the community) defended Dr. Arnauld and attacked his Jesuit
accusers with irresistible sarcasm. Discredited with the public,
the Jesuits still retained their influence at Court; and they
avenged themselves by bringing about the destruction of the
schools. The chief schools were closed in 1656, and the small
remnant met the same fate in 1660. Thus seemed to end the
brief career of the Port Royal Schools. And yet it was not really
the end. The schools themselves had been quite insignificant:
at their most flourishing time they had never more than fifty
pupils. But in dying they entered on a new life. The teachers,
set free from the tasks of the classroom, proceeded to develop
the principles which had animated the schools in a number of
valuable educational works, and became (in M. Compayre's judg-
ment) "perhaps the most authoritative exponents of French
education." Lancelot, the ablest teacher among them, had already
written a series of books on the New Method for learning easily
Latin, Greek, Italian, and Spanish. Arnauld, besides editing the
Port Royal Logic, expounded the Rules for Humanistic Studies.
Nicole, who collaborated with Arnauld in the Logic, wrote a
treatise on The Education of a Prince. Most important of all,
Coustel gave a comprehensive account of the pri'iciples and
methods of the schools in a work entitled Rules for the Education of
Children (1687). In this way what on a short view might have
appeared an irreparable disaster made the ideas of Port Royal
an enduring force in education.

For the understanding of these ideas we must go back to
St. Cyran; for though his death took place before the schools
were properly under way, his personality dominated both schools
and teachers to the end. St. Cyran was drawn to the work of
education both by his theological and by his personal interests.
On the theological side, he found in education " the one thing
necessary.*' Not that he regarded education in itself as capable
of making men good. Following Augustine as his friend Jansen
had done, he held the doctrine of predestination in its harshest
form, as implying a permanent tendency to evil in human nature.
" The devil already possesses the soul of the unborn child/*